Mercedes-Benz Pulls Back Curtain on X-Class Pickup

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class

Although it was the subject of rumours and speculation for many months, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup truck has finally been officially announced, with the German automaker seeking to corner the premium end of the LCV market.

The X-Class in its concept form comes in two key specifications, one of which is geared towards off-road dominance while the other is a little more civilised, aiming to appeal to business buyers who will spend more time on city streets than construction sites.

Powerful Adventurer

The more rugged of the two vehicles, known as the Powerful Adventurer, is decked out with a bright green paint job which is mirrored in the interior detailing. It features big, chunky tyres that complement its additional ground clearance and comes with a winch mechanism mounted up front to help with towing and rescue duties.

The payload capacity for both trucks should be 1.1 tonnes, while each should be able to tow trailers weighing up to 3.5 tonnes, ensuring that they have both commercial and recreational applications.

Mercedes-Benz has added a high-end 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system to these pickups, which in combination with a powerful V6 diesel engine should allow them to dominate most terrain types and also provide decent straight-line speed. Entry-level models will offer more frugal engines upon release, but it is good to get an idea of what the flagship options will look like.

Since these pickups are based on the Nissan Navara platform, it is expected that a 2.3 litre diesel engine will be the base level inclusion, although this has yet to be confirmed.

Safety and semi-autonomous driving capabilities are achieved through the use of camera systems, integrated radar and a host of other sensors, allowing the X-Class pickups to react to the road ahead before the driver is even aware of potential issues. The manufacturer argues that this will not only protect owners but will also help to reduce fatigue and improve comfort levels, amongst other things.

Stylish Explorer

The X-Class Stylish Explorer concept is the more refined model of the two, opting for a lower ride height, less substantial tyres and an interior which is filled with leather and wood trim rather than the carbon, metal and plastic which define its sturdier stable mate.

Both vehicles come with an integrated infotainment system which makes use of cutting-edge software and high-speed connectivity to provide the latest in navigation, communication and entertainment.

The finalised production versions of the X-Class will begin rolling out of the factory at some point next year, with a release window in the second half of 2017 currently on the cards. While European buyers are being courted with this range, Mercedes-Benz is also eager to ensure that this pickup will appeal to customers around the world. It will be marketing it particularly at potential buyers in the Asia Pacific regions, where it is hoping to achieve major sales growth.

A premium price tag is a given for this type of commercial vehicle, but when prestige is important there will be those willing to pay it.

Categories: Vauxhall / Vivaro /

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